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== link:index.html[Index] -> link:cookbook.html[Cookbook]
Cookbook: SSL Offloading with Cherokee
It is no secret that HTTPS traffic has an important performance impact
when compared to HTTP. This penalty is influenced by a number of
reasons: handshaking overhead, latency due to the increased number of
round trips, and increased CPU usage on the server.
This impact loss can be mitigated to a certain extent through several
methods. You can use a dedicated hardware SSL layer. Or you can also
ensure that the web server is using HTTP Keep-Alive, which allows the
client to reuse SSL sessions, and avoids the need for another
handshake. Cherokee will allow this, but you can also set it up to act
as an HTTPS accelerator, which is pretty interesting by itself.
If you are using several servers this can be easily done. The theory
is very simple:
. Set up a main HTTP Reverse proxy. This one should allow the clients
to maintain HTTP Keep-Alive sessions, and will return data through a
secured HTTPS channel. It can also use dedicated SSL hardware to speed
up the encryption. This proxy will balance the load among a number of
. Set up your HTTP back-ends, which will be in your local network and
thus can transfer data through the regular HTTP protocol.
It seems easy enough. The performance gain is very significant since
all the back-ends do not have to suffer the constant hammering involved
with HTTPS overhead, and their contents can be efficiently cached.
The process in detail
Lets assume your back-end servers are running on your local network on,, and so on.
The front-end server would have to balance the load among them. For
that, you will first have to add as many
link:config_info_sources.html[Information Sources] as back-ends.
.Multiple backends
Then you will have to configure the HTTP Reverse proxy. Visit your
front-end's virtual server through the
link:config_virtual_servers.html[vServers] section, select the
`Behavior` tab, and click on `Rule Management`. You will be able to
choose the link:modules_handlers_proxy.html[HTTP Reverse Proxy]
handler, and set it to balance the load among all your back-ends. In
the example, we will allow `Keepalive` connections, and assign all the
information sources for the defined backends.
.HTTP Reverse Proxy balancing